The Orioles bullpen went into the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays having allowed just one run over its past 30 innings.
But a struggling Tampa Bay Rays offense came to life with a seven-run sixth inning -- all of the runs coming against the Orioles bullpen -- as 11 batters went to the plate.
Six of the runs were scored with two outs in the inning off relievers Evan Meek and Brian Matusz.
The Orioles entered the inning leading, 4-3, but No. 9 hitter Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo homer to right field off Meek with one out to tie the game. The Rays then quickly took the lead when Ben Zobrist doubled and was driven in by Matt Joyce’s RBI single. Joyce went to second on the throw home.
The damage was far from done. With first base open, the Orioles intentionally walked Evan Longoria to set up a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup with Brian Matusz against James Loney. Matusz had held left-handers to a .220 average this season.
But Loney laced a two-run double to right field, and Brandon Guyer followed with a looping double down the right-field line to score Loney.
Logan Forsythe then hit Matusz's first pitch to him into the left field seats to give the Rays a 10-4 lead.
The Rays posted five extra-base hits (three doubles, two homers) in one inning for the first time since 2006. Joyce’s hit snapped the Rays’ 0-for-17 slump with runners in scoring position.
The Rays scored two more runs on Joyce's seventh-inning homer in the seventh off Matusz.
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